Green Kitchen: Spotting Endocrine Disruptors

Green Kitchen Tips

Sussing out endocrine disruptors is a key part of creating a green kitchen. This handy guide can help!

Stocking a green kitchen can be a little bit crazy-making, can’t it? You not only have to think about the ingredients in your food, but you have to consider the packaging.

Are you feeling daunted at the thought of stocking a green kitchen? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released a handy guide to a Dirty Dozen list of endocrine disruptors. When it comes to your health, these are some of the most important chemicals to avoid. This list goes beyond the kitchen, but so many of the recommendations are directly food-related, it felt worth sharing here.

The Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors is modeled after the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for produce shopping. Their original Dirty Dozen looks at which produce on the shelf has the most – and most toxic – pesticide residues to help you make smart shopping decisions in the produce aisle. Their endocrine disruptor list aims to help you make equally informed choices in the rest of the grocery store.

You can download the entire guide here, but in case you don’t want to download the whole PDF, I have a little summary below:

1. BPAAvoid canned food, receipts, and #7 plastic.

2. DioxinsAvoid animal products, because these toxins accumulate in animal fats.

3. Atrazine – Choose organic produce whenever possible, and filter your drinking water.

4. PhthalatesSkip the plastic food containers and ditch that plastic wrap. Also stay away from any products (like dish soap) that list “fragrance” on the ingredients label.

5. Perchlorate – Choose a reverse-osmosis water filter, and make sure you’re getting enough dietary iodine, which protects you from some of perchlorate’s harmful effects.

6. Fire Retardants – Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and be very careful when ripping up old carpeting.

7. Lead – Use a water filter that filters out heavy metals like lead. Also be careful to clean up chipping paint.

8. Arsenic – Use a good water filter. You might also want to cut back on how much rice you’re eating.

9. Mercury – Avoid seafood. If you can’t give up the fish, they suggest wild salmon or farmed trout as safer choices.

10. Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) – Ditch the non-stick cookware. You also should avoid fast food, especially the stuff that comes in paper wrappers.

11. Organophosphate Pesticides – Buy organic produce.

12. Glycol Ethers – Check the ingredients labels on cleaning products you buy, and avoid ingredients like EGBE or DEGME. Of course, you can also make your own green cleaning supplies that cost less!

The EWG guide gets into the whys for each of these offenders, so check out their pdf if you’d like more details!

Image Credit: Jars of Food photo via Shutterstock

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